Huskies Host Utes In Top-10 Battle For Pac-12 Lead
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY VOLLEYBALL
SEATTLE - The Pac-12's two top-10 teams go head to head this week inside Alaska Airlines Arena, as the 2020-21 volleyball season makes the turn past the halfway point. Ninth-ranked Washington (8-2 Pac-12) hosts seventh-ranked Utah (8-0 Pac-12) for two matches that will determine which team grabs the lead heading into the second half of conference play.
The Huskies and Utes will open up on Thursday evening, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. with the rematch set for Saturday, Feb. 27, at 11 a.m. Pacific. Both matches will be live streamed for free via GoHuskies.com.
Washington just completed its longest road trip, going 3-1 at UCLA and Colorado. On Monday, UW swept the offensive and defensive Pac-12 Player of the Week awards. Ella May Powell won the offensive honor, thanks in part to a career-high 60 assists in a 3-2 win at Colorado, the most by a Husky setter since 2010. Powell was the first setter to win Offensive Player of the Week since 2012. Shannon Crenshaw earned her first Defensive Player of the Week award after totaling 34 digs in the two Colorado wins.
Utah has yet to lose this season but had its scheduled series against Oregon canceled last week due to Covid-19 protocols. The Utes have gone the distance twice in wins over Arizona State and USC. Utah was the preseason Pac-12 favorite according to the coaches poll, as the Utes returned senior All-Americans Dani Drews and Kenzie Koerber. Utah leads the conference with a .281 attack percentage and is also serving an impressive 2.17 aces per set led by Koerber's 0.59 aces per set. Drews is hitting .288 with 4.93 kills per set to lead the Pac-12. The Huskies and Utes split their 2019 matches, with UW winning perhaps the match of the year in Seattle, 19-17 in the fifth set. Utah went on to lose in the Round of 16 to eventual national champion Stanford.